The arrival of immigrants from all parts of the world is an ongoig issue in most nations in the European Union and Hungary increasingly has found itself still learning how best to integrate the new arrivals within society. The UNHCR recently investigated how Hungary is dealng with immigrants and warned about insufficient effort to get the new arrivals out of detention centers and out into the real world where they had to work, learn the language and establish a new life. As Mchael Lindenbauer of UNHCR told Hungarian officials “in the long run there is no such thing as integration within a center….In general, the refugees should be helped to start their own independent lives.” He emphasized that learning a new language is best done while at work or living among Hungarians rather than taking classes in a detention center.
A major concern of UN refugee experts is that Hungary does not provide enough interaction between refugees and local Hungarians. There is also a lack of job training to get people quickly into productive work with Hungarians. As always, any effective program for refugees makes them quickly cease being a foreigner who is outside society whlle making certain they are working, learning and focusing on the future.
The editors of the Jerusalem Post expressed concerns felt by many Israelis about the upcoming George Bush sponsored peace conference dealing with Middle Eastern issues. The editorial noted that Arafat in 1987 rejected terrorism and expressed similar views in signing the 1993 Oslo accords. However, after these statements, “years of vicious suicide bombings ensued as did the rise of Hamas, which openly embraces terror and rejects Israel’s right to exist within its borders.” A Jerusalem Post correspondent obtained a copy of a letter from Abu Sitta, spokesperson for Palestinian refugees, in which he called for rejecting Israel’s claims to inhabit Palestinian land based on historical and biblical rights. He also warned against abandoning “the right of return after decades of fighting.”
Two issues emerge from the editorial — trust and refugees. Israel has ever right not to be completely trustful, but Palestinian leaders also have a right to be distrustful. One can not undo the past or the immediate present, but must focus on negotiation and compromise which point to the future. Each side has a long list of how the other side has betrayed past agreements. All successful compromise agreements require both parties to tear up such lists and deal with solving problems. The issue of refugee return is complex, but Arabs sometimes forget there are two sets of refugees — Palestinians who fled their land in 1948 and Jews who fled Arab nations in the forties and early fifties because they feared for their lives. The 600,000 Palestinians who left now number in the millions. Israel can not accept such numbers and still remain a majority Jewish nation. Palestinian refugees have not only grievances against Israel, but also toward fellow Arabs who have done nothing to provide jobs and full citizenship rights. Perhaps, a compromise might entail having Israel settlers leave the West Bank and turn over to Palestinian refugees their houses. This would not completely resolve the Palestinian refugee question, but, then again, no Arab nation has offered any financial compensation to Jews who left Arab nations.
Posted in George Bush, Islam, Israel, Judaism, Muslims, Peace, Politics, Religion, World News
Tagged Bush conference, Israel, Palestine, refugees, terrorism